Category: Networking

While generally you read about how you need to keep social networking out of the workplace, in one instance my ability to navigate Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the like actually snagged me a job over some pretty tough competition. As more and more employers start focusing on the internet as a source of business, you will find that a careful and strategic presentation of your ability to connect with people via social media can actually enhance your resume rather than hinder your chances at getting a job. In some cases, your time online might even be all the employer is really looking for.

When you are presenting yourself and your job skills, however, be judicious. Do not simply announce that you spend hours a day on Facebook, for example. Instead, point out that you are fluent in "Web 2.0" or that you have experience in social media and marketing. You can use the number of friends that you have on Facebook or the number of followers you have on Twitter to help back up your claims that you network effectively in these media.

If you want to use this type of social networking to your advantage, then you need a professional, "work profile" as well as your personal profile. The work profile should be used for building a base of clients and potential clients as well as friends. It generally will not include the pictures of you with a lampshade on your head in a bikini at that beachside pool hall last spring break, although you should include pictures of yourself having fun and enjoying life because research shows that you will likely accumulate more friends if your profile is not "all business." Just be careful not to post anything in this profile that you would not want a prospective employer to see, and remember that if they can find one profile, they can find another - so keep your personal profile private!

Make sure that if you are hired for your social networking abilities that your employer is very clear with you about what he or she expects from your networking. Some employers really just want you online building a rapport with potential customers. They may want a certain number of posts or a certain number of friends added each day. You need to know how your progress is being measured so that you can adjust your social media habits accordingly.

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